Warwickshire honour Bell in recognition of 100th England Test cap
In recognition of Ian Bell proudly becoming the first Warwickshire player to win 100 Test Match caps for England at the 2nd Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley, the Club has made him the first member of a current playing staff to be awarded an Honorary Life Membership.
Bell – who becomes the 12th Englishman to win 100 Test caps – played his first game for Warwickshire in the Warwickshire Cricket Board’s Under 11s team, before progressing through all age groups in the development programme to make his First Class debut against Sussex at Edgbaston in 1999.
After touring with England Under 19s and A teams, he broke through to become a regular in the Warwickshire team in the 2001 season, when he scored 836 runs 16 innings and became the youngest Bear to score a First Class Century, with 130 against Oxford UCCE aged 19 years and 56 days. Subsequently he has gone on to score 16,569 First Class runs, including 47 centuries, and was awarded a Benefit Year by Warwickshire in 2011.
Bell also became Warwickshire’s youngest capped player in 2001 and went on to play a key role in the Benson & Hedges Cup (2002) and County Championship (2004) wins before making his Test Match debut against the West Indies at The Oval in 2004, where he scored 70.
Norman Gascoigne, Chairman of Warwickshire CCC, said: “Everyone associated with Warwickshire is immensely proud of what Ian has achieved in his career. One Hundred Test caps is a remarkable achievement for any cricketer and as the first Bear to reach this milestone, we felt the need to recognise this by breaking away from tradition and awarding him an Honorary Life Membership whilst still a key member of the Club’s playing staff.
“In modern sport it is rare for a world-class athlete to spend their entire career with one Club, but Ian is a very proud Bear who has made an incredible journey, from our school cricketing system to becoming one of the world’s best batsman, and I hope will he will continue to play a key part in the Club’s future for many years to come.”
Bell will be presented with his Warwickshire Honorary Life Membership in front of Members and supporters at a match at Edgbaston in due course as part of a series of celebrations planned for this by the Club.
Ian Bell, said: “Being awarded my 100th Test cap for England is a moment that I will cherish forever and I’m very proud to be the first Warwickshire player to reach this milestone.
“Edgbaston will always hold a special place in my heart, along with all of the great characters who have helped me along the way.”